Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of bugs and things, a storyboard in rocks and photos

'Tis the season for nature to be in full throttle. I've often written about what a buggy neighborhood I live in. Since I live less than two blocks from water, we have a lot of spiders.

And when you have a lot of spiders, you have a lot of other bugs. Although I can't say I really

their presence, I see their place in the scheme of things. Their webs offer amazement and beauty.

While taking apart our old shed this weekend we found literally thousands of spider egg pockets. Also, this tiny wasp nest was suspended in a corner, hammock style

Here, you can see how tiny it really is, barely the width of two of my fingers
The intricacies of nature remind me of the interdependence of all things. So, when in doubt, remember


Friday, June 25, 2010

Second Guessing

You can tell by this video all the stuff that is being processed from this last week. *sigh* At least I see/hear it. I am grateful we are being dealt the time to talk, to chew if off one bite at a time. For the greater population this is two minutes of b-o-r-i-n-g footage; but for me it is another step in our journey.

Some rock art from today.

And I do love a garbage man with a sense of humor. Or is it a sense of style?

Friday Haiku

It's more than a week
since a quality of light
left me standing here.

I feel her spirit
stronger, clearer than ever
which is a comfort.

Strange how spirit can
walk in, sit down, take up space
yet still be unknown.

the changes processed this week.

ripe for what? Questions
- more asked than can be answered.
Oh, I miss her though.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A New Life

Life is strange sometimes, wonderfully strange. Not long after my gentle, old dog left us last week, we received a call to care-take a hamster for three weeks. Today we brought "Creme Fouette" (translation: Whipped Cream") to our house. He's a little shy at the moment, having gone for a drive, been shaken (not stirred) and getting used to the new sounds and smells of our house. I am so happy to be given this chance to take care of another life, grateful to be entrusted to the daily watch. It's filling a gap and hopefully will be enough to satisfy the recent requests by Riley to have a rodent of his own. It is his responsibility to feed, water and exercise. For some reason I have agreed to the more mundane cleaning of the "cage" and tubes and the general and regular checking of the whole apparatus so that Whipped Cream, a.k.a. Houdini, does not escape. I thought it prudent to take a lot of photos early on in case I need to make a quick trip to the pet shop for a double.

I thought I would be housing a wire cage, about 1 foot by 2 feet; instead I have a space age acrylic apparatus with multiple tubes and passageways branching off. Yowza. Whoever said, "it's a dog's life" never hamster-sat a modern-day hamster.


Oh, now there's a hot topic. It's a human condition. I'm working mine, weeks ago it came as an aha moment that I am driven by fear in so many ways, ways that matter. Last week I had to see one of my biggest fears realized. In a week I have grown so much and still have so far to go. Writing about Riley conquering his fear of taking the training wheels off his bike, I decided today to honour him and his courage by finishing this piece I started a few weeks ago when I had that aha moment.

collage, Inktense pencils, spray ink and acrylic on watercolor paper

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We had a couple of firsts in the house today.

Riley's first bike ride without training wheels.

It was a long time coming, fear holding him back more than anything. Something I'm quite familiar with so I let it ride, but today, as a father's day present, he looked his fear in the eye. We set ourselves up in the empty tennis court. Lots of cheering and utter surprise. Not a little self confidence blossoming too.
There was also the first hot dog. Ha! I know...but he's always been a picky eater and since hot dogs aren't the healthiest of foods, I let that one go. Today, he managed one jumbo at lunch then another two regulars at our pool opening BBQ.

When you live with an incredibly picky eater, any new food that passes more than one bite is time for celebration. It just opens so many more avenues when eating at friends' houses too.

My rock this morning told me to

I guess a part of my spirit has been sitting on the sidelines since last Tuesday. Baby steps, for me. I'm happy to say I joined in life today, celebrating moments as they happened.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Haiku

My grief has no floor,
swallowed a boulder of love.
It is where I am.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One moment

That's how I'm approaching this day. One step at a time, one moment at a time. Like an ant climbing a hill with a parcel larger than me on my back. Or so my rock told me this morning.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A(nother) life

Fifteen years, three months, eight days. I am in such a deep state of grief I don't know when I will come out.

The one, huge lesson she taught me was to move gently through this world.

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Haiku

What do you think of
all dressed potato chips, huh?
I think they sweep up

all the left-over
spices off the floor and toss
them in one big vat

and label it thus
economizing the loss.
Recycling, maybe?

I feel somewhat duped
and definitely thirsty
after a whole bag.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just one day

Today was the kind of day that when I got home from work I wasn't sure if I should run for the ice cream or the double shot of vodka. Since it turned out I only had a single shot of vodka left, I poured that on top of the ice cream and made a party of it. But it's really just one day in the grand scheme of things, isn't it?

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Did You Know...


But sometimes you have to

really, really

and then

some more.

This one came back to me today.

Which was kind of weird because when I left it behind, I really wanted it for myself. And today I found it under the bench, upside down under some leaves but I kind of knew it was there and got so excited when I found it again. I'm keeping it. But you have to

An idea whose time has come

My idea of a perfect day includes everyone, big and small, remembering to flush.

Monday, June 7, 2010

An aside

I have been giving myself permission to express my anger lately. It might be contributing to helping me feel better emotionally, even if I am not making many new friends and startling a few old ones. As an example, Riley said to me before supper, "It's OK, you can stop being mad now - my homework is done". In theory this is great, if I can manage to let go of the guilt that comes with blowing off steam.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When you've got your health

The saying goes, when you've got your health, you've got everything. I used to think that was a wise saying but now I've expanded it to include mental and emotional health. These last few days have found me just that little bit lighter, little bit happier but it's all it takes. I am feeling a balanced kind of happy at the moment. It's hard to put into words.

We woke to rain and cool temperatures this morning but it didn't deter us from our walk. We shortened it, ending up at the playground where Riley left his rock.

And what's a rainy day without some puddle action?

Sometimes the events in life have the opposite effect on me than expected. The last few months I have been overwhelmed by loss and grief regardless of the abundance and possibilities in my life. And then when I got news that my dear friend and mentor, Celeste, left her earth body, after absorbing the fact and getting over the shock, I felt inspired and have been able to look at the truth of impermanence with a little less fear. Just a little, mind you. In another act of universal synchronicity, last week Karen Maezen Miller wrote this poignant piece on the subject of impermanence here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


We saw this wild daisy growing out of a piece of concrete this morning.

The resilience of nature always astonishes me. And then there was my rock, I think this is my all-time favorite and quite apropos for what I have been muddling through on a personal level.

I bought this perennial a few weeks ago, Tickweed is its common name. I wasn't crazy about the foliage which is kind of like under developed asparagus but the photo of the flower on the tag drew me in. It didn't disappoint, I got my first flower today - now if I can only nurse it through to next spring, it might just be OK. But really, I need to come up with a better name for it than Tickweed.

After the flurry of weirdness this past week, oddly enough I find myself on the way up. I may have hit the bottom of the barrel emotionally and I am strangely feeling inspiration for all kinds of things. Fingers crossed and attitude transplant in place, I'm feeling more optimistic about life or maybe just more engaged with my present. Either way, it's good.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Life

Have you ever met someone who could love deeply? Someone who could make you feel that whatever emotions were running through you were alright, help you through the particularly challenging ones and get excited about your dreams? Someone who you felt unfaltering support from, who was "there" for you and at the same time living their own life with a zest and intensity that affected every living soul in their midst? I did, just under a year ago. She was a fellow seeker in the six-month e-life coaching class I took with Patti Digh and David Robinson. This week Celeste Martin Rast left her earth life in one quick breath. To say that we, in the class, are all reeling from the news is an understatement and the common thread we are sharing together with our emails is the legacy she left. How incredibly alive she made each of us feel, what an inspiration she was and is by living fully and without regret. She made each and everyone of us feel special and that is a gift.

I was planning a trip to see her in July. She believed enough in a dream I had to help me get lift-off for it, and I was waiting for Riley to finish the school year so I could bring him with me; I knew I just had to meet this incredible woman and I wanted him to feel her energy too. Logically this loss should be overwhelming, should be pushing me down deeper into the quagmire where I have lived the last three months, instead I am lifted, buoyed by the thoughts of how she lived her life. I am thinking that I want and need to aspire to do that too. Because I have seen what it does and there is nothing parallel to it.

One of the exercises in Patti's book, "37 Days, Life is a Verb" and in our e-coaching class, was to write our own obituaries, in a way we want to be remembered. In Celeste's own words, hers read, "She loved intensely, awakened excited each day to see what was ahead, cared deeply, was engaged fully with the person in her presence, and danced as if no one was looking." Indeed.

I am here to say that one person can make a difference. Living by example. Loving intensely. Caring deeply. This is all stuff that has the power to change lives. While my soul weeps for the missed opportunity of meeting her in person, for the absence of her voice, I can't help but feel grateful that I see what her life brought to me and so many, many others.

Can I love so intensely, care so deeply, engage so fully that I make a difference? Oh, I hope so.

Celeste and David Robinson earlier this year:

Can you feel the love?

And then the rains came

Metaphors, metaphors everywhere. It's been a dry spring, more summer like than spring like. This week the rains came. It rained as hard as it had been hot and dry. I laughingly told Riley that it rained so hard last night that frogs fell from the sky. So why was I surprised to see this guy hopping across my neighbor's lawn?

And did you know that

I didn't think so. But I know it has saved mine.